PLAY areas in Trowbridge are undergoing improvement works as the town council has pledged to spend £200,000 this year to bring them up to standard.

Trowbridge Town Council officially took over 24 outdoor play areas in the town this week, after growing concerns that many were falling into disrepair when Wiltshire Council looked after them.

After agreeing a deal with the authority in December to take them over, town council clerk Lance Allan said improvement works are already underway.

Cllr Dennis Drewett and David Halik were delighted that they were under the town council’s governance after complaints were mounting about fenced off play areas and deteriorating equipment.

“I am delighted that this is all done and dusted and that children can look forward to having improved play areas in their town,” said Cllr Drewett.

“Very little has happened over a long period of time, which was not fair on a lot of local people. It has been a long, drawn out process, transferring it over from Wiltshire Council but it is under out control now.

“People had come to me saying is something going to be done, so I am happy to say it will. This is a very important issue for the town and work will get underway soon to enhance these play areas.”

Cllr Drewett added that improvement works at Cavell Court play area should start on April 23, Beech Grove on April 26, Yeoman Way on April 30 and the others during the summer months.

“This is a positive statement from intent from the town council. We are committed to improving the play areas, many of which are not up to the standard they should be,” said Cllr Halik.

“We can communicate with the community and find out what needs doing, so that more children can start using these play areas again.

“Too many places have been fenced off or have not been repaired but hopefully we can make those repairs as soon as possible because that is good for everyone.”

After year-long negotiations, Wiltshire Council agreed to pay the town council £50,000 to take over the management of the remaining 24 play areas in Trowbridge.

The rest of the money, £200,000 this year and another £100,000 in future years, has come from section 106 agreements with developers from all the housing developments that will be built in the town.

On top of the 24 play areas, the town council also manages play areas in the Town Park, Grove Recreation Ground and Regent’s Place, one in Longfield, the skate park at Stallards and a BMX track at Lambrok.